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Background Notes: The Odyssey

What is an Epic?

  • An __________ is a long poem about a national or legendary hero.

  • Ancient Greece produced two epics- ____________ and the Odyssey.

The Hero

Where It All Began…

  • Starts in medias res: _____________________

    • Immediately engages the reader

    • Provides narrative space for long _________________

    • Gives story a satisfying unity when it ends where it began

Who wrote this stuff?

  • Both of the epics have been attributed to a blind traveling poet named ______________

Who is Homer?

- like a chorus or refrain

-musical elements

  • The Odyssey was recited with lyre in hand

  • Was a _________________ performance

What is The Odyssey and Iliad About?

How long did it last?

Homer’s second epic

  • Odysseus, the smartest of all Greeks, outsmarts the ______________ with the ____________________

  • He fools Trojans by leaving a huge wooden ____________ filled with Greek warriors

  • Due to Odysseus being instrumental in the destruction of Troy, the gods are MAD!

  • They vow that he will have a LONG and difficult journey home. Odysseus’ journey home takes _________ to complete!!!

How long is The Odyssey?

  • The Odyssey is comprised of 11,300 lines and divided into ______books

  • We will only read selected passages from the poem

Three Plot Strands

  • One: Story of what happens in Ithaca to wife and son while they are waiting for Odysseus’ return

  • Two: Odysseus’s wanderings

  • Three: Odysseus returning to Ithaca and joining forces with son to destroy enemies

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